Life is Short

I have been following a young girl on CaringBridge. I found her by accident. Someone on Facebook posted a link to the CaringBridge site. This young girl had just been re-diagnosed with cancer after being over 5 years cancer free. I have been following this young lady’s life for the past six months, and now it seems she is down to her last final days.

00 parentsIt is sad and tragic to read the words her parents write about the journey they are all on. I must give credit to these two wise adults who are trying to balance their family, take care of their daughter, and live life with the mundane things like going to work. Since the CaringBridge site is set up to talk about the sick person, it doesn’t really say much about those on the edges.

How do parents go to work day in and day out knowing their child is so tragically ill? How do they concentrate on anything? How do they give time to their other children while this one is demanding so much care. My heart breaks for them.

guaranteeWe have no guarantees. When we were born, we did not come with a warranty agreement. There is no replacement for a defective model. There is no repair shop that guarantees complete satisfaction of results.

I think about when my sister died a little over five years ago. I was going to work every day, but I wasn’t always “there” since there was so much concern and stress in knowing how ill my sister was. I am sure that is nothing compared to a parent with a critically ill child. The months of my sister’s illness are kind of a blur. I spent my days off with her. I sent out a lot of emails to friends and family, and daily the number of those to whom I was communicating grew as I was asked to add more to the list.

My sister knew she was dying—so does this young girl. The difference is my sister was 68 years old. I am older than that today, and it really feels very young. From the time my sister was diagnosed until her death was only about 2 1/2 months. That’s not long.

I think about how short our lives are. Do we take advantage of every moment we have? Do we let petty things bother us? Do we reach out to our friends and family when we think about them?

How do we live our lives each day? This young girl did not get a lot of days. My sister got more, but still they were cut short.

What are the things that are important? If our time is limited on this earth, are we attending to the things we think are really important? Everyone has a different list of what is really important in their life. That’s good. It means many different things will be accomplished.

00 tuna sandwichIf the doctor told you today that you had only a short time to live, what things would be important to accomplish? What do you want your life to stand for? I was told to never leave a job with a tuna sandwich in your desk drawer. Of course, that was not a literal statement, but it meant not to leave anything undone that may not smell very good later. Is there someone you need to make peace with? How about anything you wanted to complete or do for someone special in your life.

By the way, this young girl passed away. Her family is in mourning, but they are also thankful that she is no longer suffering.IMG_1247.JPG

One comment

  1. You are so right! Douglas and I are trying to decide about living in Europe for a year, but he cannot decide when he wants to retire, and I worry that if we leave, what happens if a grandchild or child needs us? But, maybe the real question is do we have time to procrastinate? Thank you for the reminder.


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